The web works because the underlying code HTML has up until now been open. Some folks want to close it down.
“Encrypted Media Extensions” is a proposal to allow DRM style proprietary types of content into the web. Dumb Move.
Don’t let the myths fool you: the W3C’s plan for DRM in HTML5 is a betrayal to all Web users.
More than 22,000 people have signed.
Help us reach 50,000!
Tell W3C: We don’t want the Hollyweb
We already have too many bad media extensions like Flash, Java, and Silverlight, which constantly put users at risk with constant security updates. It is time to get off this treadmill.
A frightening piece of legislation from Britain.
UK.Gov passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now
Here is a tidbit:
The Act contains changes to UK copyright law which permit the commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing, so-called “orphan works”, by placing the work into what’s known as “extended collective licensing” schemes. Since most digital images on the internet today are orphans – the metadata is missing or has been stripped by a large organisation – millions of photographs and illustrations are swept into such schemes.
Yep! Everyone of those sharing sites like Facebook, Instagram, and others where you just clicked Yes to the Terms and Conditions is now free to exploit what they just boiler plated previously.
“you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.”
I have written about this before,
Instagram’s TOS – Facebook Beacon 2.0
“2.3 For content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos and videos), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of (“use”) any content you post on or in connection with Facebook. This license ends when you delete your content or your account.”
Facebook Proposed Statement of Rights & Responsibilities, bullshit walks Take 2
Social Network Slavery YouTube hands Viacom the whip
Now it just remains to see how quickly the Social Media sites open up British offices to drive your property through this.
There is a certain amount of controversy regarding video standards and support in the upcoming HTML 5 spec for creating and designing websites. This is an important debate in terms of the future and open direction of the web.
Video has become a substantial portion of the traffic across the web due to the vibrancy of our ability to process information in engaging our visual and audio senses at one time. Folks like moving pictures.
One of the bedrock principles of HTML is the open and unencumbered code that is used into creating what we see on the screen in our browsers. To that end video and the new video tag for embedding needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Closed technologies never benefit users over the long run.
Flash by Adobe is the current front runner in video on the web. It is an interesting technology but has become spyware on personal computers. Flash cookies are stored on your personal computer and are not removable with the standard browser privacy controls.
Don’t take my word for it, check for yourself:
Where to find these flash cookies:
* Windows: LSO files are stored typically with a “.SOL” extension, within each user’s Application Data directory, under Macromedia\FlashPlayer\#SharedObjects.
* Mac OS X: For Web sites, ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/FlashPlayer. For AIR Applications, ~/Library/Preferences/[package name (ID)of your app] and ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/FlashPlayer/macromedia.com/Support/flashplayer/sys
* GNU-Linux: ~/.macromedia
Hattip Wired News: You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again
Schneier on Security: Flash Cookies
And currently none of the browser makers are addressing this issue. But then Adobe has a history of violating your privacy. An earlier version, Flash Player 6, turned on your Camera and Microphone by default if your computer had them. Flash itself puts blocks between you and your privacy by requiring you to go to Adobe.com to “manage” you privacy settings. There is no other down loadable program that requires this scheme, and cannot be managed on your own computer.
They say that the new version will respect your privacy, but don’t hold your breath.
Adobe is trying hard to keep their grip on the video on the web by a campaign of disinformation as to how open the Flash application is.
However, here is the money shot from Dave McAllister a blogger for Adobe.
The main reason we can’t release Flash Player as open source is because there is technology in the Player that we don’t own, such as the industry standard hi-def video codec, H.264. Adobe pays for that codec so video plays reliably worldwide, across browsers and OS’s. So we make it as open as we can – by releasing the specifications.
Source: Open at Adobe
Moving along from privacy to usability
Kevin Lynch also posted his take on Flash and most revealing are the comments.
Adobe is also saying that Flash doesn’t crash or hang systems, but the comments on this posting at Download Squad tells a different story.
Interesting is the admission by Adobe of incorporating H.264 to hedge their bets.
H.264 is getting a lot of airtime across the web as a possible successor to supplant Flash as a video standard. As the above quote aptly demonstrates H.264 is not an open standard, but a proprietary codec owned by the MPEG LA group. In a story posted at Beta News, the H.264 Group says that they will not ask for royalties aka payment for use,(until 2015 unless they change their mind) but trust me, just like the UNISYS .gif patent mess they will come calling.
According to Allen Harkness, global licensing director:
“While our Licenses are not concluded by End Users, anyone in the product chain has liability if an end product is unlicensed,” wrote Harkness. “Therefore, a royalty paid for an end product by the end product supplier would render the product licensed in the hands of the End User, but where a royalty has not been paid, such a product remains unlicensed and any downstream users/distributors would have liability. Therefore, we suggest that all End Users deal with products only from licensed suppliers.”
anyone in the product chain has liability if an end product is unlicensedThink YouTube with Invoicing. When the RIAA gets tired of suing everybody, the lawyers can just step into H.264 suits.
Like folks are gonna plumb source code for licensing and or liability. Give me a fucking break! Seriously, most folks on the web think that Copyright is a gift from Microsoft with Right Mouse Click > Save As.
Ogg Theora is currently the frontrunner in open source video, still has some technical limitations, but it has the potential to become a royalty free open video standard.
Encumbering the web with proprietary technologies will kill the web as surely as if you turned off the power to your computer.
This is the probably the most significant distillation of Fair Use I have ever seen.
“fair use is a part of the design of copyright, it is not an exception to it,”
William F. Patry
This is a partial quote from William Patry, who is probably the pre eminent Copyright Lawyer on the planet, responding to a blog post by Patrick Ross, who probably knows less than I do about Copyright, and I am not a lawyer.
At issue are ross’s statements on Fair Use in response to a new report: Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video from The Center for Social Media at American University’s School of Communication which is a non-partisan group, unlike the Copyright Alliance whose membership reads like a roll call of Big Media, and the remora like associations that surround them.
Fair Use outlines how an excerpt of material can be used, it does not prescribe a percentage, or any guidelines as to where the line is. Fair Use is only a Defense Mechanism used in a court of law on a case by case basis. It sucks, but there it is.
Here is today’s pop quiz!
Who do you think has a better idea what Fair Use is About?
Patrick Ross, Executive Director
Patrick Ross is executive director of the Copyright Alliance, a grass-roots coalition of artists, producers and distributors from across the copyright spectrum. Prior to joining the Copyright Alliance he was a senior fellow with The Progress & Freedom Foundation, a free-market think tank in Washington, D.C. Ross focused on intellectual property issues for PFF’s Center for the Study of Digital Property (IPcentral.info), specifically the rights of artists. He was also PFF’s vice president for communications and external affairs.
Source Copyright Alliance
William F. Patry (born January 1, 1950 in Niskayuna, New York) is an American lawyer specialized on copyright law. He studied at the San Francisco State University, where he obtained a B.A. in 1974 and an M.A. in 1976, and then at the University of Houston, where he was graduated with a J.D. in 1980. He was admitted to the bar in Texas in 1981, in the District of Columbia in 2000, and in New York in 2001.
Patry served as a copyright counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives in the early 1990s, where he participated in the elaboration of the copyright provisions of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Patry also worked as a policy planning advisor to the Register of Copyrights, and held a post as Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is also the author of a 7-volume treatise on U.S. copyright law entitled Patry on Copyright, arguably superior in breadth and depth to Nimmer’s Nimmer on Copyright. Patry is currently Senior Copyright Counsel at Google, Inc.
This copyfight has no winners.
Rodgers did not win. Rodgers conformance, compliance, or capitulation, is his alone. It does not apply to you or I. It is not a victory in any real sense. The closest description is a cease fire. Hostilities will resume.
In every case it was an excerpt, which is ‘Fair Use’ and does not require the author’s permission, regardless of how much they wish to the contrary.
AP did not win because they attempted to legislate “Fair Use” by intimidation. The AP saying ‘quoting a headline and the lede paragraph of a story’ is infringement is crap. It is AP’s attempt to maintain control over it’s ‘product’, the hook and the summary, (also known as the AP Style) with a headline and first paragraph, with the rest of the story explaining the first ‘graf’. They would really like to make this Infringement, because if you quote that, the story is basically over, you have the sizzle and the steak, the rest is fat and bone.
AP will need a bunch more lawyers to file DMCA notices, because unless they go back to the teletype, and have their owner-members erect paywalls, it will be quoted.
Robert Cox gets an atta boy for his work in resolving this specific issue, Back Story on How AP and Drudge Retort Come to Terms especially in the speed of getting a large organization like the AP to make a decision without months of meetings, focus groups, and balloting, but gets a big aw shit for trying to sell us insurance, regardless of his statement of no commission.
We didn’t win, as what we think about excerpting and Fair Use is no clearer today than it was last week.